Category Archives: Prepper Health and Fitness

When It’s Time to Rest, Rest!

If you happen to have been following this blog or my YouTube channel for a while, you might have noticed that I have gone the longest stretch without adding any content since I started this journey. It’s certainly not lack of inspiration or valuable ideas to research and share my findings on. Everyone has been great about responding with ideas and information to help me keep this blog growing. I cannot tell you exactly what it was other than I felt like pure, unadulterated crap all last week for some reason. I had barely enough energy to make it through the day at work and get home to crash. That gave me the idea of addressing the topic of resting. If you want to read about more health tips, you can find them in my prepper health category Here.

What Do I Mean by “Rest”?

That sounds like a very straightforward question, but there are many ways that we can and need to rest. Physical rest is one of the most important, but we cannot discount mental rest. Failing to rest our bodies and minds when needed will lead to the breakdown of all of our mental and physical functions over time. While I wanted to continue posting to my blog as well as preparing for other activities I have planned, I realized, last week, that the caffeine and over the counter meds I would have to take to continue at my current pace would catch up with me. I chose the best option for me at the time; to report to my job as expected and use the remaining hours of the day to sleep and rest. In hindsight, I may have benefitted more from taking a day off work to do nothing but rest, however I was still able to recover in a reasonable amount of time.

Physical Rest

Whether by design or by adaptation, humans, as well as most other land-dwelling animals, need to sleep. For thousands of years, this was a fairly simple part of the daily lives of humans. We would hunt, gather, farm or tend to other chores throughout the daylight hours and when the light faded at dusk, we would prepare to sleep. Of course, there were candles and gas lights to allow us some source of light in the dark, but it wasn’t until the late 19th century when Thomas Edison produced the first viable incandescent light bulb, that we could really turn night into day. From that point forward we have advanced, as a society, into an unnatural 24 hour lifestyle that takes a much larger toll on us and our health than we may think.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep, nightly, to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In a world of 24 hour demands it’s often easier on the front end to burn the midnight oil and try to get by on as little sleep as possible. As consumers, it is clear that we value productivity over rest by simply looking at the number of energy drinks and supplements available at every convenience store we go into. Instead of trying to get everything done at once, I believe we should look closely at how we schedule things in order to be more efficient in our work and lives so we are left with more leisure time for rest and enjoyment. Click on the picture below for one of the best books I have ever read. It has a section that goes into detail the levels of time management that we can use to make the most out of our time without our productivity taking everything out of us.

You can also look for ways to get more out of your sleep. 7 to 9 hours of restless sleep is not going to keep us refreshed and functioning at our peak. We need deep quality sleep to rejuvenate our bodies. I found out that I have sleep apnea a few years ago and after making the necessary adjustments to my sleep habits, I feel much better every day. For some ideas on how to get more restful sleep click on the picture below.

Mental Rest

If you’ve ever dealt with depression, or have a loved one who has, you have probably seen first hand that no amount of sleep can seem to bring someone back on point when his or her mind is burdened heavily. While I am no fan of the trend that we’ve seen in the past 20 to 40 years of blaming everything on some condition or trauma inflicted by others, I do realize that mental health is an important part of daily life and much more so when we are in a survival situation. The point that I would like to make abundantly clear is that knowing you need to rest yourself mentally is not weakness. We become weak when we blame others or our situations on our mental burdens instead of working to restore ourselves by whatever means needed. While some people seem to be born with an amazing ability to compartmentalize mental stressors and even function better under extreme pressure, most of us have to develop those skills and refresh ourselves regularly to continue moving forward.

For some people mental rest may come as easily as listening to their favorite music or sitting quietly in the early morning or late evening hours. Others may gain clarity from exercise or a walk alone in a natural surrounding. Many of us also turn toward faith and spirituality to relieve our mental tensions and renew ourselves. If none of those work for you, it might be helpful to learn to meditate or even visit a counsellor to help you unearth some peace and understanding of yourself. I know doing that helped me see a whole different view of my life and circumstances. If you want to look for more ways to understand mind and how to rest mentally in this day and age, click on the book below by Jordan Peterson. He can make sense of a lot of the issues we face today.

Final Thoughts On Resting

While survival situations won’t usually offer the most comfortable situations for us to rest, keeping the need to refresh mentally and physically in mind is important. Whenever possible, a team of individuals offers a greater distribution of the workload and allows each member much more time to rest than he or she would have if they were on their own. We are also in much better shape to attend to a disaster or survival situation if we go into it with a rested mind and body. When things are stacked against us, it’s often too late to rest up for the fight.

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How Do I Protect Myself From Ticks and Other Insects?

Why Should We Worry About Ticks and Other Insects?

In my late 20’s I got what I was certain was one of my regularly scheduled quarterly sinus infections. Symptoms were textbook for me, a little tired and run down one evening, woke up the next day stuffy with a cloudy head, the next day sinuses started draining and causing chest congestion. Off to the Urgent Care for a Z-pack and a steroid shot. After several more days with no sign of improvement, I was considering going back to the doctor for another round of antibiotics when i noticed some tingling in my feet and hands. I ignored it and tried to get some rest. That evening I woke up around 11 pm and was unable to walk and barely able to use my hands. I also had red spots all over my feet and legs. I got someone to take me to the Emergency Room where the doctors at first wanted to send me home and refer me to a dermatologist. After my less than polite objection, they involved a few more doctors and came up with a diagnosis. I had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from a tick bite that was hardly noticeable. After conferring with the infectious disease specialist, I was told that the tingling feeling was actually paralysis setting in on my extremities and within 24 to 48 more hours, without treatment, it would have paralyzed my internal organs and killed me.

While my story isn’t very common, adding the other tick borne illnesses such as lyme disease as well as the multiple mosquito transmitted illnesses to the pot makes it important to consider insect repellent to your list of prepping items. Beyond the actual illnesses, insect bites are a potential infection site as well as just plain irritating. If you have never gotten a good case of “chiggers” on you, consider yourself among the fortunate.

What Can I Use Protect Myself From Insects?

I will divide insect repellent into two types for the purpose of this blog post. The first type is the wearable repellent. The other is the stationary repellent. Some types will overlap the two and I’ll point that out.

Wearable Insect Repellents

It’s not officially summer here in the South until you smell the strong scent of “Deep Woods Off” on every kid playing in the yard. My daughter is an absolute buffet for mosquitoes if she so much as steps outside without repellent on so she gets fogged with spray on any exposed skin. Wearable repellents let you take the repellent with you as you go and are the best choice if you are on the move, so consider these for vehicle and bug out bags. There are lots of choices today and some may fit our needs more than others, so consider this another “mission dependent” item and consider having a few different choices available. If you are interested in what else you might want to consider for your go bag or bug out bag, take a look at my post here.

Deet Repellent Sprays: Developed in the mid 1940’s for use by the United States Army, Deet is a chemical compound that confuse an insect’s olfactory senses and “blind” them to the substances in human sweat and breath that attract the little blood suckers to us in the first place. While it works great at keeping you from being a bug’s dinner, we have to be careful when we apply Deet repellents. It can act as a solvent and is destructive to some plastics and coatings. If you have ever heard the life hacks about using “Off” brand spray to clean headlight lenses, this is why it works. It chemically melts the top layer of the plastic, so think of what this can do to the string on your hunting bow or the seams of a rain suit before you douse yourself with the stuff. Grab some by clicking the picture below.

Permethrin Repellent Sprays: Discovered in the early 1970’s, Permethrin is actually an insecticide that has been used to treat crops and large areas of infestation. It is used as a repellent to insect bites by killing or disabling them before they are able to bite. As an insecticide, it is closely monitored since it is a broad spectrum chemical and kills bugs indiscriminately including beneficial insects like honey bees. For personal use, however, we are much less concerned with the bug mortality rate when it comes to the ones actually trying to eat us. It’s a solid option for hunting too since it is not going to melt our synthetic and plastic gear while we wear it. Pick some up by clicking the picture below:

Repellent Treated Clothing: I’m not sure where this technology began, but I first heard of it in the camouflage hunting clothing industry. Hunting seasons vary in actual calendar season across the world. Here in the southern United States, we have hunting seasons that start in early fall and in early to mid spring. An opining day dove hunt in early September or a late season turkey hunt when the woods are warming and greening up will expose us to bugs that had to have been stowaways because Noah wouldn’t have knowingly let them near the Ark! Regardless of who deserves credit for the idea, we now have outdoor sporting and work clothing made by several companies that is impregnated with one or more repellents when they are made. One consideration to have about these, though, is that the effectiveness is reduced over many washes. The maker usually has a number of washes specified in the product information. Click to take a look at the shirts below:

Personal Electronic Repellent Devices: Themacell brand devices are a handy option that provide insect free environments without having to spray ourselves with a chemical. They work by heating up an insect repellent cell that emits a chemical scent that works much like the sprays do. You can get one by clicking the picture below:

Stationary Insect Repellents

While my classifications might not be the industry standards for pest control, I think that they adequately explain the types of repellents we commonly use. The Stationary repellents are those that treat an area, not a person, therefore you are protected in the treated area, but not when you leave it. These are a great choice for general outdoor activity that is confined to an area such as a camp site, back yard, or a patio.

Whole Yard Repellent Treatments: These treatments are usually done by professional pest control services or by purchasing a product like the spray pictured below. Most of these products are made to attach to a garden hose and self dilute as the water flows through the nozzle and out on the yard. Professional or DIY products can make a big difference in how enjoyable your back yard or work area around a cabin will be when the temperatures get warmer.

Electronic Repellent Devices: This is one product that falls into both classes since it can be carried with us or used to create a perimeter around us to create a zone of protection. The ones below are set up to provide stake out around a patio or camp site. Click the picture to look closer:

Citronella Candles and Torches: If Deet containing aerosols were the smell of the summer days of my youth, Citronella was the smell of summer nights around the patio or porch. Versions of this waxy, oily substance ranged from galvanized buckets filled with a candle to tiki torches that were filled with a citronella lamp oil. The oil is derived from several varieties of lemongrass so its probably the most “natural” substance on this list. It has a distinct smell and you might find it does a great job for your ourdoor setup. Try some of the bucket candles by clicking the picture.

Insect Repellent Safety

If we take a quick look at the description of all of the types of insect repellents listed in this post, the word “chemical” is used repeatedly. Even natural options, while unprocessed, are still chemicals and like the man made and synthetic chemicals, they can also cause allergic reactions in some people. We should always make sure that we experiment with any new chemical we use, no matter the application, to make sure we aren’t allergic or have some other negative response to it before relying on a product daily.

Also be very cautious when using any chemical product around children or pets. Permethrin, for instance, is toxic to cats.

While it won’t stop everything we might encounter, another option is always to use a mosquito net like the one below. Look closely when purchasing though, some are impregnated with chemical repellents. Click the picture to get one:

Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Affiliate and I may make money on qualifying purchases.